Saturday, April 14, 2012

Five Fizzling OS X Security Threats

Macs have been relatively safe from the kind of viruses that plagued Windows users through the last couple of decades. But once it was revealed that a variation of Flashback was able to create a botnet of more than half a million Macs thanks to an unpatched Java vulnerability users stood up and took notice. OS X has largely been free of viruses and worms up to this point, but that still doesn't stop unsuspecting users from being tricked into typing an admin password into a cleverly (or, sometimes, not-so-cleverly) disguised installer.

It should be noted that Flashback originally required an admin password as well, but eventually shed that requirement. But the recent Flashback hubbub wasn't the first indication that malware could affect Mac users—not by a long shot. In fact, the first versions of the Flashback trojan itself appeared as early as September 2011, so the latest outbreak wasn't even the first we've heard of this particular malware.

As Apple continues to increase its share of the PC market, Macs are becoming a viable target for malware authors, sprouting a handful or two of trojans in the last decade. Here are five in particular that were considered (by some) to be harbingers of a great malware infestation for OS X that instead proved to be more bark than bite.

Patient zero

One of the first well-known trojans for Mac OS X turned up in 2004. OS X by default hides file extensions, so it's possible for an executable to masquerade as some other file type, like an image or music file. If OS X is set to hide file type extensions, the a file named "hot_pic_xxx.jpg.app" will appear to the user as "hot_pic_xxx.jpg". With a custom icon, an unsuspecting user might double-click the icon, launching the app instead of loading the supposed image in Preview.

Mac security firm Intego spotted a trojan that took this method a little further by burying executable code in the IDv3 tag of an MP3 file. Double-clicking the file would launch the trojan code in the IDv3 tag, then play the MP3 inside iTunes to keep the user none the wiser.

At the time, Intego warned that the trojan could do all kinds of bad things like delete files, infect other MP3s, or send itself via e-mail. However, the exploit was merely a proof-of-concept that never went anywhere.

RSPlug.A

While subsequent trojans identified as malware turned out to be little more than harmless proof-of-concepts, Intego warned of a more serious threat in 2007 dubbed "RSPlug." This trojan pretended to be a QuickTime codec necessary to view videos from porn sites, but instead installed a DNS server that would redirect users to fake versions of sites like eBay or Paypal. These sites would capture users' logins to scam money from unsuspecting from them.

Several variations later appeared that seemed to prey on the most naïve users, barely attempting to hide the fact that the installers were not from trusted sources. While Intego considered RSPlug a "critical" threat, it required users to enter an admin password before it could do anything unsavory, preventing it from infecting more than a tiny percentage of Mac users.

OSX.Trojan.iServices

Within a month of launching iWork '09 during Macworld Expo in January, a pirated version of the $79 productivity suite started circulating on the 'net stuffed with code which installed a backdoor in OS X. More variations of this same trojan appeared in various "pirated" apps, including Adobe Photoshop CS4.

Needless to say, this trojan didn't infect many users, either. While Adobe's rather expensive creative software was probably a much smarter payload target than Apple's budget office software, this trojan only infected casual "pirates" that probably learned a valuable lesson about paying for legitimate software licenses.

"MacGuard"

In 2008, malware authors tried to take advantage of unsuspecting Mac users by pretending to be virus scanning software. Dubbed "MacGuard," this malware caused fake virus infection alerts to appear on a user's computer, offering to rid the user of the virus by entering credit card information.

Fortunately, the app was poorly ported from a nearly identical Windows version, and didn't fool too many users before being identified by security vendors. Our advice then was to stick to well-known antivirus vendors, like Norton or McAfee, instead of unknown software begging for credit card numbers.

The same basic trick later appeared in a much more convincing form in 2011 as "Mac Defender." That software was much more sophisticated and at least had the appearance of a legitimate app. It took a couple weeks for Apple to acknowledge the problem and offer a software update that eliminated the malware, but that was after it appeared that the malware spread in relatively significant numbers. Though the true impact of Mac Defender remains unclear, it certainly brought the issue of Apple's responsibility in working against malware to light.

HellRTS.D

A new tool to install a backdoor in OS X was discovered in 2010, called "HellRTS." This malware required physical access to a computer to install, though Intego warned that the code could have been packaged as a trojan. This backdoor was actually a variant of exploit code discovered as far back as 2004, but fortunately never materialized in any malicious trojan.

Variants of RSPlug and later the Mac Defender trojan ultimately caused more concern, and Apple moved to update the anti-malware feature silently built-in to Snow Leopard in 2009 to identify and eliminate these potential threats.

An ounce of prevention...

As we have noted in all our coverage of potential Mac security threats, an ounce of prevention is worth far more than a pound of cure when it comes to computer security. Running as a non-admin user prevents most malware from installing itself in the first place, and turning off Java or Flash in your browser eliminates those popular exploit vectors. Furthermore, a heightened sense of skepticism when dealing with unfamiliar websites, e-mails from unknown senders, or software downloads from unverified sources also helps to reduce the likelihood of being the victim of a trojan or other malware.

We think Apple could do more to respond to threats once widely identified, especially when it comes to the amount of time it takes to offer a software update. Still, the company is making some effort to limit software downloads by default to trusted sources like verified developers or the Mac App Store.

Of course when it comes to Flashback, even being hyper aware wouldn't have helped much—malware is increasingly being injected into iframes on Google image search results and other sites that people widely trust. Users should remember that even sites they visit regularly have the potential to morph into attack sites if they're compromised and infected with exploits. Perhaps it's time for us to consider installing antivirus software as a rule, just like our Windows-using brothers and sisters. By Chris Foresman (http://arstechnica.com)

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Will Apple Really Use AMD processors in the New MacBook Air?

Will Apple Really Use AMD processors in the New MacBook Air? | Apple has updated the very popular product, the MacBook Air, with an Intel Core i5 and i7 last year, but later the laptop was rumored to be using AMD chips.

Although there is no certainty, but the news circulated mention the use of AMD chips are still in talks and apparently did have a few obstacles.
In an interview with Forbes, an employee of AMD confirmed that talks had almost reached an agreement, but achievements that can be produced AMD production is a barrier.Will Apple Really Use AMD processors in the New MacBook Air?

AMD employees were confident a deal can be achieved if there were no problems with the production of the company.

Currently, AMD is working on a new business model in the production of the processor "fusion" which combines a new CPU to the GPU into a single piece of silicon.

One processor, called "Llano", seems very attractive to Apple for use on a MacBook Air.

AMD engineers are busy chasing targets when they start to move into a new manufacturing process. "AMD can not even produce samples (results) Llano to Apple's initial work on time," wrote Forbes quoted one employee AMD.

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Boot Camp Windows Support

Boot Camp Windows Support | Apple has just released the latest Boot Camp that easily makes your need to dual boot Windows 7 on your MacBook Air comes into reality. This latest Boot Camp version fully supports Windows 7.

With separate downloads for 64-bit and 32-bit versions of Windows 7, the download also requires an authentic copy of Windows 7 or Windows 7 upgrade, and is only supported on more recent Intel-based Macs; no Macs produced before 2007 will support Windows 7, as outlined in this Apple support page.

If you're upgrading your Mac's other side from Windows Vista to Windows 7, you'll first want to download and install the Boot Camp Utility for Windows 7, which "safely unmounts the read-only Macintosh volume on Microsoft Vista."

If you are already running Windows 7 on your Mac in Boot Camp, you can simply run Apple Software Update while booted into Windows to get the updated Win7-friendly drivers.

If you are still looking for alternative way in letting your MacBook Air dual-booting the Lion and Windows 7, there is one you may pick. It is the Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac which promises you the better experience to have Windows 7 installed on your MacBook Air. Some are satisfied with Boot Camp, while others need something more. How Parallels Desktop 7 for Mac will work for you?

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

How To Hack your MacBook Air Software Reinstall Drive to install Lion

How To Hack your MacBook Air Software Reinstall Drive to install Lion | So now you have your MacBook Air fully loaded with the OS and software. You even have Windows installed on it. But when the Lion comes roaring and shaking your world, it feels like you have to find a way on how to replace Windows.
Well, that's not a big problem as you do belief that Lion works better and faster on your MacBook Air than Windows does. Things are heating up. Replacing your laptop's OS can be a frustrating task, depends on how you know how to do that. Here is the challenge: is it possible to hack my MacBook Air Software Reinstall Drive to install Lion?
Here is the whole idea: what if we could replace the installer on your Macbook Air restore drive with the Lion installer? So that we could have the Lion’s installer to make us easier install the Lion.
There is an easy way how to do that. Unfortunately, it uses Windows in order to get it done. A little bit unusual and unaccepted to the Mac’s fans. But I think it is worth trying.
As Apple has made the Lion ready for you. It is now the time for you get ready for it, right?
Here are the things you need to prepare before hacking MacBook Air Software Reinstall Driver to install Lion:
  • A Legally acquired Copy of Lion
  • Apple Macbook Air Recovery Thumb Drive (Or else what’s the point?)
  • Our Handy Dandy Zip File (Link)
  • Windows Machine (Virtual or Physical)
Really want to hack your MacBook Air Software Reinstall Drive to install Lion? Follow the complete tutorial here.
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Monday, December 6, 2010

Which MacBook Air is Best for Video and Photo Editing?

Here is the case, you need a laptop that will help you editing your videos and retouching your photos with Photoshop. Those are your very crucial jobs. Now, you need a tough laptop. And you are also demanding a stylish yet fashionable one, so that you’ll be seen as a pro when showing off your work to your precious clients. What about portability? Yes, because you will be travelling so much with it, so the laptop must be light enough for you to carry. Hmmm, seems like you are looking for simply the best laptop.
Which MacBook Air is Best for Video and Photo Editing MC504LLAWell, is it hard to find that perfect laptop? Actually it is not that hard. When we talk about video or photo editing, there is one name we can’t ignore, Apple. When we talk about a stylish and fashionable laptop, what do you have in mind? I bet you have this one, Apple. What about portability? Yes, once again Apple is one word that everyone will willingly say out loud. So? Now you have limited your options. Apple will be on the first place on the list. The next question will be which Apple’s laptop is best for video and photo editing?
Here it comes the MacBook Air MC504LL/A. Any proof? Well, let us start with the specification.

MacBook Air MC504LL/A Specification

  • 13.3-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display with a 1440 x 900-pixel resolution
  • Up to 7 hours of wireless productivity plus up to 30 days of standby time
  • 1.86 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 6 MB on-chip shared L2 cache and 1066 MHz frontside bus
  • 256 GB flash memory storage
  • 2 GB installed RAM (1066 MHz DDR3; supports up to 4 GB)
  • NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor (with 256 MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory) for an outstanding everyday graphics experience
  • Built-in FaceTime camera for video chatting
  • Wi-Fi wireless networking (based on 802.11n specification; 802.11a/b/g compatible)
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) for connecting with peripherals such as keyboards, mice and cell phones
  • Two USB 2.0 ports with networking using optional Apple USB Ethernet adapter
  • SD card slot
  • Mini DisplayPort output port with support for DVI, VGA, dual-link DVI, and HDMI (requires adapters, sold separately)
  • Built-in stereo speakers along with omnidirectional microphone, headphone minijack
  • Full-size keyboard
  • Multi-Touch trackpad for precise cursor control; supports inertial scrolling, pinch, rotate, swipe, three-finger swipe, four-finger swipe, tap, double-tap, and drag capabilities
  • Dimensions: 12.8 x 8.94 x 0.68 inches (WxDxH)
  • Weight: 2.9 pounds
Isn’t that pretty much convincing? No?? Ok, now let us break them up a little bit.
MacBook Air is very well known for its thinness. It is hard to find other laptop that is thinner than 0.68 inches. MacBook Air is really defining a new standard of what thin laptop should be. Definitely, it fulfills your need of a stylish and fashionable laptop, right? 
Which MacBook Air is Best for Video and Photo Editing MC504LLA screen shot When you are editing videos or photos, the resolution of your laptop’s screen will be your first or second concern. MacBook Air MC504LL/A has 13.3-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display with a 1440 x 900-pixel resolution. You’ll find that there are very few laptops series out there that provides you with this resolution on their display. And with the use of NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor (with 256 MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory) you’ll get outstanding everyday graphics experience on it.
The next best thing from MacBook Air MC504LL/A is the 256GB SSD. For average users, 128GB SSD would be enough. The use of SSD makes MacBook Air laptops run much faster than laptops that are still using traditional hard drive. It is significantly speeding up the booting and shutting down process.
Yes, MacBook Air MC504LL/A is great, but it only has 2GB RAM. Well, yes, it is true. But actually you can upgrade it up to 4GB. The thing that you don’t really need to worry about. Why is that so? OS X will handle it comprehensively. It is a very efficient OS that works best to manage your MC504LL/A at its best performance. If you run out of ram, OS X writes to the virtual RAM on your SDD. And you do know that SSD is really fast compared to hard dive. This is no longer a problem. Get Mac OS X Snow Leopard: The Missing Manual
Are you now still in doubt that MacBook Air MC504LL/A is best for videos and photos editing?
Buy MacBook Air MC504LL/A on Amazon!
Find out more here.
READ MORE - Which MacBook Air is Best for Video and Photo Editing?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Which One Is Best To Buy: 11 or 13 inch MacBook Air?

Which one is better, 11 or 13 inch MacBook Air? When these two MacBook Air laptops are right before your eyes, I bet you will be a little bit confuse to decide which one will be the best for you to buy. Buying one of them means that you’ll lose the benefit of buying other type. Or maybe you want to buy both of them at once? Well, in case you ask me, my answer will be: no.
Which One Is Best To Buy 11 or 13 inch MacBook Air 1 Now, let’s start to compare 11 and 13 inch MacBook Air from Apple side by side to help us choosing the best MacBook Air series for our need. Choosing a laptop is never easy when money is your concern.
The Look
I agree that that the 11 inch model -- or 11.6 inch to be precise, is pretty shocking to see. It is really a great choice if you consider to have a small brilliant looking laptop. It is very thin, looks gorgeous and light.
Of course the 13.3 inch model is bigger than the 11.6 inch model. That’s not a debatable fact. But if you are worried that this model is bulkier than the 11.6 model then I can assure you that it is not. With only 0.68 inch thick you’ll have no hesitation to call it slim. 
Portability
The 11.6 inch MacBook Air is undoubtedly offering a portability that never seen before in Apple’s laptops series. While the 13-inch is giving you good portability, light weight, and better performance. Physically, the 13 inch’s footprint is not much different than a 13-inch MacBook or MacBook Pro. However, it's the thinness and light weight design that brings these models stand out of the crowd.
The Speed
No wonder that the 13.3 inch model has better speed than the 11.6 inch model. Some said that the use of 1.86 GHz Core 2 Duo processor will not let this laptop run at it’s top notch. But actually you don’t have to worry about it. OS X efficiently manages these models to serve you well. It won’t let you down. 2GB of memory is not bad in efficient OS X, and the use of solid state memory is not only competitive storage capacity to similar notebooks, but yet it is really fast. The slight hit in processor and memory compared to a MacBook Pro is at least partly made up for by the speed of solid state memory. It boots up fast. Plus, when it sleeps, open it back up, for instant on. You’ll have a new way of experiencing a computer.
Which One Is Best To Buy 11 or 13 inch MacBook Air 2

So now, which one is best to buy?

Well, actually, to decide which one is better for you to buy is not depending on the specification of the laptops but on your need. This is why Apple has many laptop models for you to choose. I believe that they are not made to make us confuse. So, figure out what kind of laptop do you need, put it at first place, than buy the first model that comes up on your mind. That’s what I do. Still on the fence?
Read more ….
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Saturday, December 4, 2010

MacBook Air MC506LL/A: Best Slim Powerful Laptop

Looking for slim laptop that powerful enough for your needs? MacBook Air MC506LL/A will be your best choice! Why is that so?

MacBook Air MC506LLA The first reason is that this MC506LL/A will give you its great slimness for the sake of great mobility. This MacBook Air comes with 11.6 inches display. People consider this is as the best – 10.2 is just too small, while the 13.3 inches is just too big. You’ll still get a full 1366 x 768 - pixel resolution on it. This laptop from Apple will let you view web pages and documents in full size with no problem at all
The second reason is that it got two USB slots. It means a lot you know that. Other MacBook Air model only brings one USB slots. Beside that, this MC506LL/A is so light. 2.3 pounds for a laptop is really a great leap. Recognize your feeling when you hold it in your hand. Great, isn’t it?
Third – the speed. The latest Snow Leopard OSX successfully manages how MacBook Air MC506LL/A to work as efficient as possible. You’ll be able to open tons of web pages, iLife '11 and Office applications at the same time without any problem.
Fourth, the SSD storage, since there are no moving parts, the laptop is very silent and cool, the reading of documents is fast, but not noticeable except using testing software. The best thing you’ll get from the used of SSD is the fast booting up and waking up time compared with the hard-drive models.
Fifth, the battery life. This MC506LL/A’s battery life won’t let you down. With the WiFi on, surfing web, watching videos from youtube.com, listening music and doing some documents editing on MS. Words, you can still get about 4 hours battery life.
In conclusion, this MacBook Air MC506LL/A is simply the best slim powerful laptop for your daily need. This laptop is not an overpriced netbook for the hype, it is a true slim yet powerful laptop that you can actually carry with ease for daily work and entertainment without sacrificing too much for the speed.
Get the MacBook Air MC506LL/A best price here!
MacBook Air MC506LL/A Specification:
  • 11.6-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display with a 1366 x 768-pixel resolution
  • Up to 5 hours of wireless productivity plus up to 30 days of standby time
  • 1.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3 MB on-chip shared L2 cache and 800 MHz frontside bus.
  • 128 GB flash memory storage
  • 2 GB installed RAM (1066 MHz DDR3; supports up to 4 GB)
  • NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor (with 256 MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory) for an outstanding everyday graphics experience.
  • Built-in FaceTime camera for video chatting
  • Wi-Fi wireless networking (based on 802.11n specification; 802.11a/b/g compatible)
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) for connecting with peripherals such as keyboards, mice and cell phones
  • Two USB 2.0 ports with networking using optional Apple USB Ethernet adapter
  • Mini DisplayPort output port with support for DVI, VGA, dual-link DVI, and HDMI (requires adapters, sold separately)
  • Built-in stereo speakers along with omnidirectional microphone, headphone minijack
  • Full-size keyboard
  • Multi-Touch trackpad for precise cursor control; supports inertial scrolling, pinch, rotate, swipe, three-finger swipe, four-finger swipe, tap, double-tap, and drag capabilities
  • Dimensions: 11.8 x 7.56 x 0.68 inches (WxDxH)
  • Weight: 2.3 pounds
READ MORE - MacBook Air MC506LL/A: Best Slim Powerful Laptop